When Sean McLachlan approached me early last year with the idea of building some Iraq coverage I thought he was crazy. Iraq was a warzone. The security situation in the country was far from stable and I wasn’t about to send a freelancer, husband and father headlong into the country in the name of a few adventure stories. I said no.
Sean persisted. As the military presence in Iraq ratcheted down and the dust from the conflict began to settle, he pointed to an increasingly secure infrastructure and a series of avenues in which a completely safe visit might occur. Iraq was still dangerous, no doubt, but it was possible to go on guided, armored tours to the safe portions of the country and cover some of the cultural angles. We didn’t want to be on the front lines anyway – the story of tourism in Iraq is about the people who have weathered the storm, and the millennia of history still ingrained in the region. Finally, with the blessing of Sean’s wife, an ironclad tour company, and a half dozen international wire transfers I signed off on the tip.
The series, “Destination Iraq,” is running on Gadling right now, and will continue through the week after Thanksgiving. Sean is back, safe and sound and with dozens of stories (and just a few more photos) in the hopper, and we couldn’t be happier with the coverage.
As part of the series I’ve asked Sean to do a Q&A (or Ask Me Anything) over on Reddit to answer some questions about the trip. How’s the food? Do planes still have to land in a corkscrew pattern at the airport? Who’s your favorite pro wrestler? Everything is fair game.
Join us at 11AM ET for the live session. Sean will be answering questions for a few hours and should have some great insight into what it’s like to be a tourist in the newest destination in the planet: Iraq.
[Photo credit: Sean McLachlan]